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pioneer vs stages

Old 07-07-16, 02:34 PM
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spectastic
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pioneer vs stages

from what I've read, stages is a hit or miss. has anyone had experience with pioneer? how do they compare?

also, shimano just came out with the R9100, which looks pretty cool. it's the same concept as pioneer, with left, right, or both. kind of eager to see what that's all about. I've been very happy with shimano, so I wonder if their power meter will be in the same ball park in terms of reliability
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Old 07-07-16, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by spectastic View Post
from what I've read, stages is a hit or miss. has anyone had experience with pioneer? how do they compare?

also, shimano just came out with the R9100, which looks pretty cool. it's the same concept as pioneer, with left, right, or both. kind of eager to see what that's all about. I've been very happy with shimano, so I wonder if their power meter will be in the same ball park in terms of reliability
i've wanted to test a pioneer but never have had the chance.

i can tell you in the past couple weeks that two pioneer users called me to complain about issues they had. both experienced the same thing: questionable power values (tending to be low), much back-and-forth with pioneer, no ability to test/calibrate the meter on their own...and ultimately no confidence in the values it throws off.

obviously that's just anecdotal. definitely dampened a bit of my interest.

i hope that shimano's offering will be cheap, reliable, and accurate. time will tell; i wouldn't pay to be a 1st gen tester, though, esp when there are proven offerings.

we get excited when something new comes out, but history has told us that EVERY PM offering has had problems at the early stages; some get resolved in time, others do not.

shimano's usually pretty great about these things. i guess we'll know more in 2017!
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Old 07-07-16, 11:31 PM
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I just bought a new Ultegra 6800 groupset for my Roubaix and have been eyeballing the Stages but am very new to it all. What are the "hit and miss" issues with the Stages unit? I haven't dug too deeply, yet but I haven't really seen much about them.
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Old 07-07-16, 11:35 PM
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my first unit drained the battery too fast. the second one i have now drops power randomly for 10-20 seconds at a time. kind or rare, but not ideal for interval training. the third one is in the box, waiting to be opened.

all covered under warranty, but I have to wonder whether there's something in the design that's not optimal, or whether the existing issues will get worse with time,.
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Old 07-08-16, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by GrizzledBastard View Post
What are the "hit and miss" issues with the Stages unit?
I've had my stages for a month now...
The only problem with mine is the common issue of it sending out a weak signal.
I had my 520 mounted on the out front mount, but it would randomly lose the signal for a sec or two every so often.
I moved it to the stem and it has been perfect. "knock on wood"
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Old 07-08-16, 07:09 AM
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I had an issue with a cheap, generic, K-Edge-style GoPro mount causing interference with my PC8. I was getting frequent power drops on only one of my bikes, and by removing that mount, my problems went away. I'm not sure whether the metal had some magnetic properties or what. SRM seemed surprised when I got back to them to tell them that was the problem. I ultimately discovered it because when I first contacted SRM about my problem, they asked if I was on a TT bike, in which the aerobars might block the signal. I was looking at my set up and thought, "huh, I wonder if the GoPro mount is causing interference." (I only had the mount on the bike in which I had the power drop problems. The other bike did not have problems or a mount.) I stopped, pulled out my mini tool, removed it, and the problem went away.

And adding more anecdotal evidence to the pile, I've heard several people complain about issues with Stages, Pioneer and Quarq. (I went through three Quarqs in 18 months. My wife, knock on wood, has had no issues with either of her Quarqs.) I've heard that Vector is not particularly accurate. The only ones I don't hear many power-related complaints about are SRM, Power2Max and PowerTap. That said, I did buy a Stages for my wife's second bike. It was too cheap to pass up, and she is only riding this bike a couple times a month.)

InfoCrank has gotten good review so far, but there are so few of them out there, I think it's too early to tell.

But if you are looking for a 170 DA Pioneer, I know a guy selling one. He wants to go back to 172.5.

Last edited by topflightpro; 07-08-16 at 07:16 AM.
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Old 07-08-16, 07:42 AM
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i had some initial problems with my stages but i think it might have been user error (i think when I removed the battery cover when I first got it i lost the o-ring) and it's been fine (plenty of rides in the rain) since.
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Old 07-08-16, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by mike868y View Post
i had some initial problems with my stages but i think it might have been user error (i think when I removed the battery cover when I first got it i lost the o-ring) and it's been fine (plenty of rides in the rain) since.
That O ring is missing on mine as well and I want to sell it. Did you replace the O ring or it works fine without?
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Old 07-08-16, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by rideaz View Post
That O ring is missing on mine as well and I want to sell it. Did you replace the O ring or it works fine without?
definitely replace the o-ring! if you email them they'll send you a new one. i think w/o it the battery will drain faster and it will be much more susceptible to water getting in.
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Old 07-08-16, 09:48 AM
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They give those o-rings away like candy because everybody loses them. They will send you a pack of 2 if you email.
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Old 07-08-16, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
I had an issue with a cheap, generic, K-Edge-style GoPro mount causing interference with my PC8. I was getting frequent power drops on only one of my bikes, and by removing that mount, my problems went away. I'm not sure whether the metal had some magnetic properties or what. SRM seemed surprised when I got back to them to tell them that was the problem. I ultimately discovered it because when I first contacted SRM about my problem, they asked if I was on a TT bike, in which the aerobars might block the signal. I was looking at my set up and thought, "huh, I wonder if the GoPro mount is causing interference." (I only had the mount on the bike in which I had the power drop problems. The other bike did not have problems or a mount.) I stopped, pulled out my mini tool, removed it, and the problem went away.

And adding more anecdotal evidence to the pile, I've heard several people complain about issues with Stages, Pioneer and Quarq. (I went through three Quarqs in 18 months. My wife, knock on wood, has had no issues with either of her Quarqs.) I've heard that Vector is not particularly accurate. The only ones I don't hear many power-related complaints about are SRM, Power2Max and PowerTap. That said, I did buy a Stages for my wife's second bike. It was too cheap to pass up, and she is only riding this bike a couple times a month.)

InfoCrank has gotten good review so far, but there are so few of them out there, I think it's too early to tell.

But if you are looking for a 170 DA Pioneer, I know a guy selling one. He wants to go back to 172.5.
they had early problems that failed to compensate for temperature changes, and i still don't think one could reset the slope on their units. Granted, resetting slope post-hoc is a trivial matter (one can just multiply it by a correction factor), but the firmware should have that stuff built in
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Old 07-08-16, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by echappist View Post
they had early problems that failed to compensate for temperature changes, and i still don't think one could reset the slope on their units. Granted, resetting slope post-hoc is a trivial matter (one can just multiply it by a correction factor), but the firmware should have that stuff built in
power2max are interesting. i'd disagree with calling 'resetting slope post-hoc' 'trivial' (unless a file is SUPER important, people aren't going to download, export, manipulate in excel, save, and re-import...and there's only one piece of software i know of that makes it simple).

one thing to know about power2max is that their setup/temp comp works when you coast. if you are doing something like a TT -- or, better yet, a hill climb where there might be no coasting at all...esp a long one where the weather/temp can vary dramatically within the span of an hour and a gain of 3, 4 thousand feet -- you might not get that correction.

(i'm anti-auto-zero for a bunch of reasons....mainly because there is no knowledge about when it kicked in and by how much.)
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Old 07-09-16, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by mike868y View Post
definitely replace the o-ring! if you email them they'll send you a new one. i think w/o it the battery will drain faster and it will be much more susceptible to water getting in.
Thanks, I realized upon further inspection that it wasn't just the O ring missing but one of the plastic tabs had broken off. I emailed a photo to Stages and they sent me an RMA to send the unit in for repair and rework the the PM with second generation housing. Good customer service!
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Old 07-13-16, 07:25 AM
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Anyone have the Powertap P1 yet? Just reading about it a bit, looks super promising, especially if you have multiple bikes. I could swap the pedals to my track bike in 2 minutes before heading to the track. Just an allen wrench, no torque wrench necessary.

I've always wanted a pedal based system, just for the portability. Pedals dictate absolutely nothing else about your bike. They don't dictate what crankarms you can use, what chainrings, what wheels.

The simple AAA battery is a nice touch too. Buy 4 rechargeable ones and a charger (I already have this) and you always have a battery ready to go. Plus, 60 hours isn't bad. Every couple months basically for me.

I wouldn't mind getting rid of my ancient powertap wheel that never seems to stay true.
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Old 07-13-16, 07:58 AM
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I do not know anyone with the P1 pedals yet. But given PowerTap's track record for producing pretty good quality stuff, I would not hesitate to give it a shot.
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Old 07-13-16, 08:03 AM
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A buddy has had the PT pedals for a few months. He really likes them, but he hasn't had a power meter before so he doesn't have any baseline for comparison.
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Old 07-13-16, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Flatballer View Post
Anyone have the Powertap P1 yet? Just reading about it a bit, looks super promising, especially if you have multiple bikes. I could swap the pedals to my track bike in 2 minutes before heading to the track. Just an allen wrench, no torque wrench necessary.

I've always wanted a pedal based system, just for the portability. Pedals dictate absolutely nothing else about your bike. They don't dictate what crankarms you can use, what chainrings, what wheels.

The simple AAA battery is a nice touch too. Buy 4 rechargeable ones and a charger (I already have this) and you always have a battery ready to go. Plus, 60 hours isn't bad. Every couple months basically for me.

I wouldn't mind getting rid of my ancient powertap wheel that never seems to stay true.
I've been following the ST threads and user reviews on it, so far it seems pretty good but not perfect.
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Old 07-13-16, 10:48 AM
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isn't the pedal system very expensive? I'm worried about pedal strikes on hard corners also. I wonder if you can take off one of the pedals and replace it with a regular pedal, depending on the clockwise direction of the course.
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Old 07-13-16, 11:09 AM
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$1200 right now. Which is right there with a new Quark carbon. It looks like based on some reviews I've seen, it limits your cornering by maybe 1 or 2 degree. I'm not sure how significant that is, not having raced in a while. They look pretty beefy so I think they could take a few pedal strikes (and I think the battery would hit first, which is probably a good thing). DCRainmaker has 175mm cranks, and got 31* with the Powertap pedals and 33* with regular Look Keo pedals, in an informal test using a phone level app taped to the bike.

You have to use both pedals I think. You certainly have to use the left one, because the left one is the master and the right is the slave.

You also can't do one leg drills with only your right leg and still get power readings (not sure this is a real issue, but I guess it could be). They will probably fix that relatively soon, they're aware of it and have submitted a report apparently.
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Old 07-13-16, 04:49 PM
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I've been using a Pioneer dual leg setup for the last month (with the computer) and it's been flawless so far.

The setup is less clean than Stages, but I'll trade that for reliability.
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Old 07-14-16, 12:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Flatballer View Post

You also can't do one leg drills with only your right leg and still get power readings (not sure this is a real issue, but I guess it could be). They will probably fix that relatively soon, they're aware of it and have submitted a report apparently.
plenty of reasons for/against the P1s, but THAT shouldn't be one. 1-legged drills aren't proven to have any material benefit other than improving....pedaling with one leg.
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Old 07-14-16, 12:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Blackdays View Post
I've been using a Pioneer dual leg setup for the last month (with the computer) and it's been flawless so far.

The setup is less clean than Stages, but I'll trade that for reliability.
i'm curious: what is your bases for saying "flawless" and "reliable"? i can see more reliable than stages, but you're not comparing against something with a reputation for high reliability.
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Old 07-14-16, 06:23 AM
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Rwaki was selling his Pioneer set up. I offered him $40 bucks and a pack of smokes for it.

I guess he got a better offer.
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Old 07-14-16, 08:23 AM
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you should have offered him two porterhouses
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Old 07-18-16, 12:03 AM
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Originally Posted by tetonrider View Post
i'm curious: what is your bases for saying "flawless" and "reliable"? i can see more reliable than stages, but you're not comparing against something with a reputation for high reliability.
Does exactly what it said it would, a 100% of the time.

But I do think there are a lot of variables at play with any power meter, and what works well for me may not work well for someone else and vice versa.
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